Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 17, 2016
By Tripp Prince
Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. John 12:3
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to lose focus in our Christian lives? Sometimes due to the hardness of our hearts, we turn away from the Lord and pursue our own selfish desires in explicitly disobedient ways. Yet at times this distraction is far less intentional or obvious! Sometimes this distraction comes in the midst of good and holy things. We can volunteer at church, attend a small group, or read daily devotions, but we may still find ourselves distracted from our singular desire to know and love God.
It’s possible to do good things for God but separate them from an intimate and personal knowledge of Him.
In John 12, we meet a variety of people. We meet Martha who is busily serving dinner to Jesus and the guests. We meet Lazarus who is reclining at the table. And we meet Judas Iscariot, whose heart is so corrupt that he desires to steal money that was meant to be used to serve the poor. Yet none of these characters are the focus of this story. This story is told to direct our attention fully on Mary of Bethany and the love she has for the Lord Jesus.
Mary is a picture of pure, undistracted, and complete devotion to Jesus. With perfect vision she sees the glory, power, and beauty of Jesus. And because of her clarity of heart and mind, she holds nothing back in showing her love and devotion to Him. Is our heart filled with the same love for Jesus that we are willing to do the same?
Mary’s offering of love was costly. It was extravagant. Judas accused her of excessive devotion to Jesus! Yet to this criticism Jesus responds, “Leave her alone.” He knows that her offering of love comes from a heart that is on fire with love for God. It is a heart that sees the unsurpassed beauty of Christ and cannot help but offer complete devotion in response. May the same be true of us today! Let us serve the Lord faithfully and selflessly, but never as a distraction or replacement for our primary devotion to Him. Spend time today reflecting upon the worthiness and wonder of Jesus, and let your heart be renewed with praise and gratitude. Then, from that place of love, go forth to love and serve others as a pure offering of praise and thanksgiving.
PrayerFather, help us to have a singular devotion and focus, that we may see clearly the beauty and wonder of your son our Savior, Jesus Christ.
ApplicationHow can you remove distraction and focus fully on your love for Jesus?
Related ReadingPsalm 27:4; Matthew 22:37; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2
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